the plant SINCE 1969 VOL 53 NO 2
OCTOBER @THEPLANTNEWS THEPLANTNEWS.COM
2 THE PLANT
Letter from the Editor Time isn’t real. I blinked and September was over, and now October feels like it will never end. We are halfway through the semester and I have yet to realize the weight of time that has passed. It’s hard to keep track of the days and the hours when it all consists of sitting at my desk. I did leave my house recently for a very special adventure. Taking the metro to Atwater felt foreign, even though I used to do it almost daily. I stepped foot into Dawson for the first time in forever, probably. Seeing the empty hallways, devoid of their usual energy, hits like a ton of bricks. For someone who isn’t very invested into academia and being a student, I sure do miss it a lot now. Julie the Managing Editor, Ben the Copyeditor, and I began the Herculean task of digging through the Plant’s archives. Surprisingly, there has never been an initiative to make all past issues digital. I am so excited to have the opportunity to finally put such a project in motion. Reading and sorting through almost 50 years worth of this paper was an experience. Some of the cover art and articles were...quite far from what I generally picture a student newspaper publishing. It’s amazing to see all the effort put into issues of the Plant year after year after year, laid out before us. After 6 long hours of sorting, jamming, and documenting the weird hot takes of the time (many didn’t age well) we piled the now boxed archives into Julie’s car. Soon we will get them all digitized, so that portion of our history can be preserved. We hope it offers a glimpse into the minds of the past 50 years or so of Dawson students. Time is a weird thing. Somehow, I feel connected to the students who worked on those issues. Sometimes it feels like the events they documented could have happened yesterday. And yet when I read about the fears of technology at the turn of the millennia, for example, I might as well be a million years away.
Index NEWS 3 ARTS & CULTURE 6 PLAYLIST 9 VISUAL ARTS 10 VOICES 12 CREATIVE WRITING 17 SPORTS 20 SCIENCE & ENVIRONMENT 21 CURIOSITIES 23
Sit down and have a read of this month’s issue. Soon there will be a library of old issues you will be able to read as well. Listen to this month’s playlist and remember that time isn’t real - you might as well take some for yourself. DAYLEN CONSERVE Editor-in-Chief
The Plant is an editorially autonomous student paper. All opinions expressed in The Plant do not necessarily belong to The Plant, but are those of individuals. All content submitted to The Plant or its staff belongs to the paper. We reserve the right to reject or edit all submissions for brevity, taste and legality. The Plant welcomes typed and signed letters to the editor under 400 words. Copyright 2020
Joyce Echaquan’s Untimely Death What It Means for Systemic Racism in Quebec MAIJA BARONI Staff Writer George Floyd—a name that has been immortalized since his violent death in May 2020—has become a symbol of the United States’ shameful history. His death was cataclysmic to what was arguably the country’s most explosive expression of frustration and anger since the Civil Rights movement. Systemic racism, which has continuously disadvantaged and destroyed the lives of minorities in the United States, is being put to trial by incensed citizens The movement did not stop in the USA, however. 2020 has seen a universal outrage and call to action over injustices which continue to prevail in a supposedly sensitive and educated society. Many Canadians support the Black Lives Matter Movement by spreading awareness on social media, speaking out at protests, and making monetary donations. But there seems to be an unspoken agreement that this is an American problem, the connotation being that Canadians live up to their reputation as the kind, multicultural, and benevolent northern neighbours. The death of Joyce Echaquan, a 37-year-old loving mother of seven and member of the Atikamekw Nation in southwestern Quebec, devastatingly proves otherwise. The Indigenous community has spoken out since, emphasizing that her death must not be dismissed as an irregular, freakish anomaly. Ms. Echaquan checked herself into the Centre Hospitalier de Lanaudière in Joliette, Quebec, after experiencing severe stomach pains. Instead of receiving urgent care, Joyce was ridiculed, demeaned, and insulted by staff members. She began a Facebook live stream from her hospital bed fearing the discrimination, and perhaps her imminent death, would be overlooked. That video allowed watchers to follow along as
the nurses in the background taunted and mocked her in French, while Joyce screamed in agony. Joyce died shortly after, on September 28th, 2020. Her death has placed a spotlight on the lengthy, unlawful discrimination embedded into Canadian history and culture. It confirms what Indigenous communities have been screaming for years, which is that Indigenous people in Quebec suffer from the presence of systemic racism. The health care system specifically; a system which is fundamentally designed to keep Canadians safe and healthy; has, time and time again, failed Indigenous individuals in every way, to the point where such inhumane behaviour has become a standard expectation for those seeking medical attention.
For every Joyce Echaquan that comes forward, there’s a hundred that have not been heard. Yvonne Boyer, a Metis Canadian senator, notes that “for every Joyce Echaquan that comes forward, there’s a hundred that have not been heard.” Indigenous patients are commonly stereotyped, or sometimes left to die, when desperately trying to receive treatment. Frederick Edwards, a Cree man from Manitoba, voiced his numerous horrific experiences with hospitals, one example being when a triage nurse immediately told him to shut up and sit down in an emergency room. “I don’t like hospitals because of so many bad experiences,” says Edwards, “This is just one of them”. Though the hospital’s staff is evidently to blame, the Quebec government's inaction cannot be overlooked: Premier François Legault still denies the existence of systemic racism in the province, claiming that “[though] what happened to Ms. Echaquan is totally unacceptable… [it] does not mean that Quebec is racist”.
Photo VIA JEANGAGNON/WIKIPEDIA
Apologies, without the corresponding and necessary action, seem to be all that officials have to offer. As of October 17th 2020, the staff involved have lost their jobs, but there has been no update as to whether they have lost their licenses to practice; they may still have the right to treat others after Joyce’s untimely death. Ultimately, apologies mean nothing unless followed by meaningful change, yet Quebec currently has no concrete efforts to show. On October 3rd, 2020, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau met with Indigenous chiefs to discuss the issue of systemic racism. Only time will tell whether the promises made in Legault’s office will lead to productive results. Chief Paul-Émile Ottawa of the Atikamekw Nation of Manawan clarifies: “Get back to me in a year and I might have a better answer. Joyce Echaquan’s death is a reminder of the gulf that remains between us.” Racism is not worse in the United States than it is in Canada; it is instead merely better concealed, which means we will have to work even harder to bring it to the surface in order to eliminate it. The first step in healing is acceptance. Quebecers and Canadians need to fully acknowledge the situation at hand so that no other minority or Indigenous person once again suffers the same horrific death Joyce Echaquan did. If we continue to deny the presence of systemic racism in Canada, we continue to deny the basic human rights of our Indigenous & minority communities. p
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Student Apartment Chaos KERRI-LEE COMMIER Contributor This summer, I stood in my empty, very first apartment trying to hold back tears. The small 4 ½ in NDG was terrible: there was a hole in the floor and another in the wall, the bathroom smelled strongly of mold, and the paint on the walls was peeling. Due to COVID, my roommate and I had rushed to find an apartment. Unfortunately, I’m not the only student who has had this experience. Julia Prud’Homme, a recent Dawson graduate from the Cinema and Communications program, had to break the lease to her first apartment early this summer. Unable to visit her apartment due to the pandemic, Prud’Homme signed a lease to what she believed to be a beautiful Griffintown apartment. She later found out the pictures were eight years old. “The promises on the lease weren’t the same as the video, you have to give informed consent [when signing a lease]," she says. She says that her apartment was in terrible condition. She was welcomed with bugs, mold, inoperative windows and plumbing system, and a rusted bathroom. Fortunately, Prud’Homme had access to lawyers who helped her break the lease. Nonetheless, she was harassed with continuous phone calls and text messages from her building’s company and her legal team had to get involved.
She was welcomed with bugs, mold, inoperative windows and plumbing system, and a rusted bathroom. Avery Rose Lamont, a second semester Studio Arts student, has had her fair share of terrible apartments. Upon arriving at her current apartment for the first time, the tenants were in the process of being
Photo VIA DREAMSTIME.COM
evicted. Not only did Lamont have to deal with cockroaches for the first 6 months, but she also has “awful” neighbours. At some point during our interview, Lamont announced that she could hear her neighbour below her making loud noises. That neighbour is notorious for hitting the ceiling with a broom while everyone is quietly in bed and has been violent when confronted in the past. For the most part, students must live with a roommate in order to afford rent. Both Prud’Homme and Lamont agree the rent is too expensive for one person. This wasn’t the case 30 years ago. “Never needed roommates. Generally, people had roommates because they wanted roommates,” says Robyn Jaquays, a former Dawson student, “it was a choice thing back then." According to Jaquays, the standard rent at the time was about $100 per room. She explains that it was quite easy to find an apartment at the time because there were a lot of vacancies. She added that, unlike most of today’s landlords, hers were always very professional and helpful. Some landlords such as JeanPhilippe Roy tend to hold back when renting to students. Landlord to a three-bedroom condo on Plateau
Mont-Royal, he tries to be as helpful and “reasonable” as possible with his tenants, but he prefers not to rent to students because of their avid partying. “Sad, maybe unfair, but true,” he states. Roy, who lives far away, explains that he wants his renters to be stable. “I’ve heard so many horror stories about landlords and renters in terrible legal battles, but I’ve always avoided that,” Roy explains. Ideally, he wants strong communication with his tenants, and they can speak to each other openly regarding what needs to be done. So far, his tenants treat him the way he treats them. It's important when looking for an apartment to do sufficient research beforehand. Prud’Homme advises to visit in person, ask if there are any infestations, test the water and plumbing and ask the tenants about the landlord if you have the chance to. If you do run into troubles, the rental board is a great option to turn to. Although very hard to get into contact with, the rental board is there to help tenants. p p
NEWS 5 5
Zoom Fatigue: How it’s Impacting Dawson Students KYRA CLARK Contributor According to Zoom founder Eric S. Yuan, the maximum number of daily meeting participants on the platform increased from 10 million in December 2019 to 200 million in March 2020. Any Dawson student could tell you how challenging this has been for the platform’s servers - and for their own mental health. Unfortunately, the recurrent use of Zoom in schools is causing a form of mental fatigue known as “Zoom fatigue”. “Zoom fatigue” is described by the Psychiatric Times’ Dr. Jena Lee, a Child and Adolescent Psychiatry specialist, as “the tiredness, worry, or burnout associated with overusing virtual platforms of communication.” Part of communication is observing non-verbal cues from those with whom we are speaking, including fullbody motion, facial expressions, and eye contact. Non-verbal cues are less apparent in Zoom meetings, forcing the brain to work much harder to understand the material and catch someone’s reaction, causing “Zoom fatigue.” Jade Macevicius, second year CinemaCommunications student, says that it is especially present during breakout
rooms when her group has their cameras off. “I’m a very interactive person, and I love feeding off of other people’s behaviour, so not being able to see that is very challenging.” She says participating becomes an “intimidating” experience now that she can no longer naturally connect with her classmates. We used to experience packed hallways and exciting conversation. Today the most action a student experiences between classes on Zoom might be taking a few steps to the kitchen or washroom while they are “waiting for the host” to start the class. According to Jessie Guo, another second year Cinema-Communications student, the lack of movement and stimulation in her environment is a contributing factor to her fatigue. She notes that, “just the teacher being there [in-person] and showing you the PowerPoint on the screen, you just stay more concentrated because of
The lack of movement and stimulation in her environment is a contributing factor to her fatigue.
the environment.” Guo also highlights that small actions such as walking to grab a quick snack or briefly speaking with a friend between classes helped her remain “awake and in the mood” during the school day. Rajesh Malik, Psychology professor at Dawson, agrees with Guo’s statement. “In a classroom there are all kinds of noises and shuffling around,” he says. He mentions that although someone getting up to go to the bathroom or simply throwing something in the garbage may be distracting “it takes away the fatigue.” Another factor contributing to “Zoom fatigue” is the increased sense of self awareness. Macevicius relates to this statement saying, “when my camera is on, I feel very up tight.” She explains that she compensates for her lack of body language by nodding her head and making extra facial expressions to demonstrate her engagement. This too contributes to her fatigue, as she ends the meetings feeling tense. If you are experiencing “Zoom fatigue”, an effective way to cope is by engaging in regular physical activity. According to Dr. Lee, “physical activity is associated with about a 40% reduced risk of fatigue.” Professor Malik agrees. He further encourages students to take breaks and engage with family members at home whenever they can. He reminds people that “human beings are made to interact socially.” Although our current connection with classmates and teachers is temporarily restricted to the four sides of our screens, Professor Malik assures us that “we are learning important lessons from this pandemic, that the physical presence of teachers and students and interaction in real life is essential, it’s not going away, it’s definitely not going away.” p p
Photo VIA NADIA_SNOPEK/ADOBE STOCK
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TikTok, Youth Culture, and Music JULIA QUYNH Staff Writer How do you find new music to listen to? For many of the teens I interviewed, the answer isn’t a traditional music streaming app at all -- it’s the video-sharing platform TikTok. The app offers an endless scroll of digestible videos. “There’s always something to laugh about, so you don’t have to worry about your real-life struggles,” adds Adrian Liewfatt, a second-year Literature student. The app has blown up over the past few months, with its influence extending to other content teens consume, most notably music. TikTok is something of a Frankenstein’s monster. On the one hand, it features an enormous amount of lip-sync content, drawing comparisons to the often besmirched Musically. But its short and spontaneous seeming videos also bring out a nostalgia for the much-revered Vine. Both predecessors influenced pop culture, everywhere from memes to the music industry, and Tiktok follows eagerly in their footsteps. “It’s THE platform embodying content creation and our generation’s problem with having a short attention span,” says Annie Nguyen, a second-year student in Law, Society and Justice. TikTok’s algorithm on the For-You Page creates a series of never-ending videos specially curated to the user’s likes and interests, contributing to the addictiveness of the application. “It’s addictive for me, because of how my For-You Page constantly shows me new, and different videos every day,” asserts Kitty Ngo, a second-year Economics student in Concordia University. Because these videos are usually backed by snippets of music, the app also promotes generally unknown songs to its young audience. “There’s also a bunch of new ear-catching songs I get to hear every day for me to discover,” adds Ngo.
TikTok has also allowed numerous artists to find a broader audience. Ariel Ang, a student at Ngee Ann Polytechnic in Singapore, is a huge fan of watching Tiktok to de-stress from the pressures of school. She says that she discovered a wide variety of songs through TikTok. Anson Seabra’s “Welcome to Wonderland”, for example, was released in 2018, but recently began flourishing in the charts after several TikToks with the song in the background went viral. “I had never heard of him before, but now his songs are in all of my playlists, and streamed by millions of people!” Ang says. Doja Cat’s single “Say So” is another of many examples of the sudden virality the app offers. Released in November 2019, it only blew up months later after a TikTok user, Haley Sharpe (@yodelinghaley), created a dance video with a series of easy-to-follow dance moves. The dance challenge went viral on TikTok, with 18.8 million videos recreated with her song in the background as of the writing of this article. The dance moves became so popular that they even ended up in Doja Cat’s official music video, with Sharpe herself starring.
Do musicians sacrifice their musicality to produce songs that would potentially go viral on TikTok? TikTok has also become a method for musicians to promote their music, hoping to be the next viral smash. Artists flock to TikTok to create dance challenges, like Cardi B’s song featuring Megan Thee Stallion “WAP” or BTS’ “Dynamite”. Both topped the music charts, but they also racked up millions of videos from TikTok users.
Photo VIA SPOTIFY
Traditional chart-toppers like Ed Sheeran or Taylor Swift appear alongside fast-paced viral hits like “STUPID” by Ashnikko, or songs that are easy to lipsync or dance along to, like BENEE’s “Supalonely”. However, the question remains: do musicians sacrifice their musicality to produce songs that would potentially go viral on TikTok? Viral TikTok songs lean towards quotable lyrics and danceable rhythms. In addition, Tiktok’s longest clips are only a minute. A killer chorus sometimes compensates heavily for an otherwise weak song. Popstars may be used to following formulas, but TikTok offers a new formula for a wider range of musicians. “An artist would follow what their musicality led them to,” Nguyen quips. “Whereas an entrepreneur musician would simply follow what would work the best for the charts, or TikTok.” As for the fans, there’s not much to do besides keep one eye on your phone and the other on the charts — with both ears listening, of course. p p
ARTS & CULTURE 7
Escouade 99: The COPycat BEATRIZ NEVES Arts & Culture Editor Quebec’s new adaptation of the hit sit-com Brooklyn 99 is facing backlash for allegedly whitewashing two core cast members. While some older American sitcoms such as Seinfield and Friends are often criticized for lacking BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and people of colour), Brooklyn 99 is known for its diversity. The show has been a success since its release in 2013, with an eighth and final season planned for 2021. The sitcom keeps a funny, playful tone while following the daily routine of a New York police precinct. The Quebec version, called Escouade 99, was acquired from NBC by producers of Videotron’s Club Illico. Patrick Huard was selected as director due to his previous success in Bon Cop, Bad Cop, a movie also presenting police comedy. However, the series attracted controversy from the very beginning, starting with the casting choices. If you watched the American version, you’re familiar with the two Latina protagonists in the show: Amy Santiago (Amy Fumero) and Rosa Diaz (Stephanie Beatriz). In the Quebec version, the two characters are played by white women: Mylène Mackay and Bianca Gervais, respectively. Fans of the American version and even the original actresses were not happy about the lack of the Hispanic representation. Amy Fumero was the first one to speak up. After the first trailer released, she tweeted: “I’m suddenly curious about the Latina population in Quebec.” Afterwards, she revised her critique and said that while the Latina population in Quebec is small, they could have chosen any BIPOC to play the female characters. Critics are unhappy to see what was for many a key appeal of the original series, the show’s diversity, disappear.
Quebec comic artist Talhi Briones produced an open letter to the Escouade 99 producers in comic book format. “Were you told that just the fact that it was women was enough? Because people exist on multiple axes of oppression. We call it intersectionality,” says Briones in her work. Clara Mendell-Tremblay, an Arts and Culture student who did a presentation for class on Briones’ work, criticized the Quebec TV industry as a whole, saying that “the actors are always the same ones, and you can quickly notice that those 'popular' actors are not exceptionally good, but they are exceptionally white.”
Those 'popular' actors are not exceptionally good, but they are exceptionally white. Talhi also highlighted that thankfully the new cast kept the ethnicity of the two African-American characters. Although it’s great that whitewashing an African-American character is no longer acceptable, the Latino representation still has a ways to go. Fans have also been questioning if this version will keep Jake’s Jewishness and Rosa’s bisexuality.
Photo VIA CLUB ILLICO
The first season is currently streaming at the Vidéotron’s Club Illico service since September 17th of this year. So far, the show is more rerun than adaptation. The first episodes have the same conflicts and plots as the original. In his review, La Presse’s columnist Hugo Dumas says that “the two shows are almost identical, almost copy-pasted, joke by joke. The names of the protagonists have been changed and that's about it.” His critiques amplify complaints regarding the casting choice. If they copy-pasted the entire series, why not keep the two female protagonists' ethnicity? After the first episode was made available, Patrick Huard replied to the critics concerning the casting. He denies that he consciously whitewashed the show, but he recognizes that it went against audience expectations. “We always have challenges, and sometimes our focus isn’t where people expect it to be,” he said in the media premiere of Escouade 99. This is the show’s first authorized adaptation, and included few significant restrictions. “They told us to do what we needed to do to make it work in Quebec,” said Patrick Huard. Perhaps that will stimulate a broader reflection on how Quebec produces and consumes TV. p p
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ARTS & CULTURE 8
Album Review: BF3: The Kids Needed A Hero by Maky Lavender New and versatile Montreal rapper shows off his West Island charm
Album artwork VIA GENIUS
FRÉDÉRIC GUILLETTE Visual Arts Editor Recently, my research for new Montreal music led me to Maky Lavender, a rapper from the West Island. He has been signed with Ghost Club Record’s since 2017. According to his label’s website, Maky studied communications in order to “strengthen his skills in video production and film studies”. This piqued my interest, given that I’m also an artist and currently studying Cinema & Communications here at Dawson. His latest project is titled BF3: The Kids Needed A Hero. “BF3” stands for Blowfoam 3. The album seems to be the third installment of a trilogy, but eager to hear what this guy sounded like, I dove headfirst into the newest project. Judging solely from the cover art, I expected an amateurish sound. Said expectations were pretty much met. The production and mixes certainly didn’t sound like what you tend to hear on big budget commercial albums. However, the amateurishness isn’t to the album’s detriment. It gave the project more personality and authenticity than your run-of-the-mill “Rap Caviar” trap artist could ever have.
Although only lasting a little under 30 minutes, BF3 is a versatile project. Tracks like “Rumblin” will make your head bop. The likes of 21 Savage would fit like a glove on hard hitting trap bangers like “My Family!!!”. There are also some softer sounding cuts like “Paranoiiia” or “Rollin…,” the latter of which is reminiscent of cloud-rap or early A$AP Rocky.
as well as “Oh Mah Gad!”. The songs end up feeling repetitive, but an additional verse would have easily completed them. The guitar solo at the end of “Oh Mah Gad!” was pleasant, but felt out of place. It's very theatrical, whereas the rest of the album seemed more laid back. Also, although the mixing is good for the most part, it can sound sloppy at times.
Maky’s ability to naturally flow over these varying instrumentals is notable. Despite these different sounds, the album rarely ventures so far out of its aesthetic that it loses cohesion. The production isn’t groundbreaking, but it’s very charming and has a lot of personality.
A highlight for me was “Soju Boys”. Everything from the vocals to the 8 bit sounding beat is perfect and made it by far my favorite cut on the project. I also like the West island representation with tracks like “West Island Freestyle'' or “Jeanne-Sauvé Alumni.”
The lyrical content is fairly braggadocious, but the passages that interested me the most were the introspective ones. On many of the tracks, Maky brags about his success, but he isn’t shy about the people he had to cut off along the way.
Amateurishness isn’t to the album’s detriment. It gave the project more personality and authenticity than your run-of-the-mill “Rap Caviar” trap artist could ever have.
This theme appears many times on the album, but in my opinion this extract from the closing track, “When Your Hero Let’s You Down,” captures it best: “I don’t mean to make big of a deal // I don’t wanna be bothered // And my heart is full of sorrow , Ptsd , oh you name it // Got family members asking me everyday if I’m famous // I got friends that won’t talk to me always knew they was b***hes // I got plenty DM's from girls who think ima be cheating”. While Maky is proud of where he’s made it thus far, he isn’t fond of the attention it has brought him, and how it altered his entourage’s behaviour. I love when rappers dive into their philosophies and concerns in their music. I do have a few complaints about this project. Some tracks rely a little too heavily on hooks. It’s something I noticed on “DIGGITY”, “Rollin…”
He namedrops his hometown a few other times; like in “Juno Talk” when he exclaims “Every time I drop a song it's like ‘West Island Is Back?!’”. Another fun lyrical highlight is on the track “DIGGITY”, where he takes a cheeky jab at our provincial government:“Pour que le gouvernement m’accepte je vais faire quelques lines en français. // Ils voulaient un track en français // je t’en ai donné un.” BF3 made me eager not only to listen to more Maky Lavender, but to discover more hidden gems in the Montréal rap scene. I urge anyone who has made it this far to go give the album a chance. I cannot wait to see what the future holds for Maky. p
PLAYLIST 9 9
Playlist by FRÉDÉRIC GUILLETTE Visual Arts Editor
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Photo by ALEXANDRE BEAUCHEMIN @ABEAUCHE
VISUAL ARTS 11 Visual Arts by FRÉDÉRIC GUILLETTE Visual Arts Editor
Art by EMMA MOONEY @OVRTHEMOONN
Photo by SOPHIA DOLGIN @PICS.N.THINGS
Photo by MIA KENNEDY @MISS.ING.IN.ACTION
12 THE PLANT
Ask The Plant JULIE JACQUES Managing Editor
Dear The Plant, How do I get people to stop perceiving me on a daily basis? Sincerely, No one Dear No one, Avoidance of this phenomenon is simpler than it seems. It only requires uprooting your entire world view and way of life in order to avoid all human contact. I’ll talk you through it: First, forget about outside validation. This yearning will get you nowhere, since it is defined by allowing another to go through the steps of perceiving you. Once you have banished any desire to be loved, praised, or worshipped, you are ready to further your quest on the path to imperceptibility. You must swear off any technology which allows yourself or your thoughts to be tracked. This means no phone, no computer, no internet. You might want to dig the microchip out of your arm, too. Find your official documents: destroy them. Presumably, people think of you when you aren’t around. Horrifying. Find a scientist willing to erase the memory of anyone who ever knew you. Steal their technology, and erase the scientist’s memory, too. Now, find a way to the middle of nowhere. When you get there, don’t stop. Find a spot a little to the right of the middle of nowhere, so people don’t accidentally perceive you when they use the phrase “middle of nowhere.” This is your new home. In this, the not quite middle of nowhere, away from civilization, people will surely have to stop perceiving you. Not comfortable with that idea? Pity. I guess there are other, less extreme ways of limiting perceptions of yourself. You could destroy any semblance of individuality in your personality or appearance. So then, people would be unable to perceive an individual,
seeing as you wouldn’t be one. Their perception of you would only be the perception of a shell of yourself. Not good enough? D.W. Winnicott said that “it is a joy to be hidden, and disaster not to be found.” I think he, like many others, understood what has since been defined, by Tim Kreider, as the mortifying ordeal of being known. The thing about the mortifying ordeal of being known is that it is hard to escape. Most humans are incapable of the great uprooting I described above. We want others to perceive us, even though it may not be the best-case scenario. Really, do you want people to stop perceiving you, or are you worried about how they will perceive you? Unfortunately, you have no control over the how. We are all blessed with the ability to interpret. It may be productive to participate in a less extreme version of the emancipation I earlier described. Take the day off, when you can. Hide under the blankets, emerging only when you’re sure your housemates won’t notice. Banish any screens. Spend the day alone, and revert back to the primitive mindset. Really try to comprehend how a neanderthal would have lived. Alternately, consider the colour of the sky. Wonder what it would be to be a cat, so easily unaffected by others, when they want to be. Maybe then, the mortifying ordeal of being known will be a little less mortifying. That’s all I’ve got for you. Goodbye, for now, No one. Sincerely, The Plant
Image: Excerpt from a Comic by JEROOM SNELDERS
14 THE PLANT
As Seen on Zoom: Julia Langleben, Pure and Applied Science BENJAMIN WEXLER Copyeditor Julia Langleben is a second-year Pure and Applied Science student and the new co-president of Hillel at Dawson College. We connected over Zoom to talk about her High Holidays and the club’s plans for the rest of the year. A quick guide for the general student body: The High Holidays normally take place in the fall, and might be the reason your Jewish classmates are particularly penitent and/or exhausted in that time. They include Rosh Hashanah (the New Year) and Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement), and are a reflective period centring renewal, judgment, and repentance. The shofar is a musical instrument made of a ram’s horn that is blown on Rosh Hashanah, and a dvar Torah is similar to a sermon. What did you do for the High Holidays? Hillel did one event, for Rosh Hashanah. We brought in Rabbi Scheier of Shaar Hashomayim synagogue to blow the shofar on a Zoom meeting. People joined to hear the shofar and a short dvar Torah about everything that's been going on lately. It was really nice, we ended up with around 40 people. Normally, my family has a big family dinner, but obviously that wasn’t going to happen. We had family dinner by ourselves. Synagogue was strange — we were outdoors, and every single chair was 6 feet apart. I couldn’t sit next to my mother, we had to have 6 feet in between us. They played a recording of the service. The whole thing was new for me and for many other people, but it was nice to spend time with family — usually we don't get that much quality family time. How were your reflections on the High Holidays impacted by these changes?
It was a very different day. The fastday on Yom Kippur felt especially different. You could see the faces of people on the Zoom call, and everyone looked a little less joyous than they might have had the event been in person. But it was nice for people to have that aspect of Judaism, since many can’t go to synagogue at the moment. What are your responsibilities as co-president of the Hillel at Dawson? I plan on all of the meeting agendas for my executive team; I communicate with presidents at other CEGEPs for inter-CEGEP events; and I oversee our executive team, our advertising, and the social media content for Hillel at Dawson. It's mostly overseeing people, thinking of events, and then planning them. Has the club running experience been as you expected, or have there been surprises? It’s mostly as I expected, but it's a lot of work. I expected it to be slightly less work. There are time commitments, and meetings, making sure that everybody is doing what they're supposed to be doing and everything is on time. But I really enjoy the work, and I love my position. What should we anticipate from Hillel this semester? We're hoping to have a few more events. On Sunday, October 18th, we’re having a career night with Jewish Dawson alumni from four different universities, in four different fields. They talk about the application processes and what Jewish life is like at the university. Then early in November we have the Partner Fair. We're going to bring in Jewish organizations to talk to students about volunteer opportunities and internships. I actually meant to
Photo VIA JULIA LANGLEBEN
ask you about this after — we plan to feature some Dawson clubs with Jewish students, to get more people engaged with the clubs. You know nothing gets me stoked like repping the Plant. Last question: what is the best background you've seen in your Zoom classes? Somebody played the entire Shrek movie sped up in their background. I was very impressed with that. I liked that very much. Students interested in joining Dawson Hillel events should visit the @HillelMTL Instagram page to see features of the different executive members, and different events coming up for different CEGEPs. p p
VOICES 15 15
Online School: Yay or Nay? The Effectiveness of Zoom Classes JESSICA GEAREY & JULIE JACQUES News Editor & Managing Editor
I was less than pleased when I heard that I, along with most of my peers, was going to have to transition from in-person learning to online learning. I had never actually considered what online classes, or “Zoom University,” would be like before they began, but now it seems like I’ll graduate from Dawson before higher education students are allowed back into class full-time. I am trying to look on the bright side of things, but I’m still not sure whether online learning is effective. How are we learning this semester? Andrea Strudensky, a teacher from the English department, gave her two cents on the subject. “I don’t get feedback from my students,” she says, emphasizing that the non-verbal feedback of students which clues her into classroom dynamics isn’t available to her anymore. This makes things more difficult for teachers, especially when they’re in a state of evolution themselves. They must learn a whole new way to teach, without access to any familiar tools. Even as a student, I see how it can be difficult for teachers, especially those who tend to connect with their students on a more personal level, to do their jobs. “You don’t get to know the students in the same way,” Strudensky says, explaining that she can’t discern the different things that will make individuals react, their habits (like how they sit), or what their different facial expressions mean. Despite the perceived downsides, Strudensky admits that the experience has forced her “to really assess what it means, what [her] pedagogy is”. Tests, quizzes, and different assignments may be much harder to grade in an online context, and it can be difficult to discern whether or not your students are learning anything when they have constant access to
online resources. Teachers must reconsider their teaching methods, and the process “might encourage more teachers to find ways to engage students when we finally get the privilege of being back in the classroom.” As Strudensky says, in this “very lonely, isolating time” both students and teachers are experiencing difficulties. Even if teachers are doing their best, many students are having trouble adapting. “It’s definitely not ideal,” Jay Murphy, a second-year Cinema and Communications student, announces. There are positives and negatives, she points out, saying her stress and anxiety levels are the same, if not greater, and that some classes aren’t as fulfilling. However, Murphy points out that she’s “thankful that education is still available at a time like this.” Kyla Coyle, another Dawson student, reports having difficulty “finding a structure and routine” which works for her. I have to agree with the both of them – my stress this semester compared to my Fall 2019 semester has heightened, partly due to the fact that I’ve been having trouble settling on a routine.
More practice is required before online classes can be fully effective. All that said, it’s difficult to discern whether students are receiving the same quality of education as they previously were. Personally, it seems impossible to me that students who are so used to learning in person, and teachers whose methods have been interrupted, come away from this with as much knowledge as they otherwise would have. “A lot of the material you end up having to teach yourself,” Coyle points out, saying that her Zoom classes often run out of time to cover all the content. However, she acknowledges that no one has “fully adapted yet.”
Illustrated BY SHRUTI TALEKAR
More practice is required before online classes can be fully effective. It will be interesting to see if schools begin to offer online classes once the pandemic is over – maybe some teachers actually find it more suitable, and continuing education or student-parents may find it easier to follow. What with lack of teacher-student connection, a mute button which allows students to opt-out of class, and a lack of routine, many, myself included, are finding online school arduous. Would I say it’s a waste of time and money? It’s tough to be sure before the semester comes to an end, but yes. And no. I have trouble justifying a 10 dollar hike in student fees for an online semester, but I recognize that I am gaining valuable experience every day. I have learned to (semi) adapt from one rigorous schedule to another, and I would be lying if I said I hadn’t gained at least one unrequited Zoom romance from it all. p p
16 THE PLANT
Recipe Ramble: Banana Bread and a fascinating number of amateur still-life drawings featuring five bananas and one apple. The cause? The notion of bananas as some sort of super fruit, necessary for health or, in the case of more radical purveyors, necessary for survival. As my father would put it, “It contains all the nutrients.”
Photo VIA MYBAKINGADDICTION.COM
DINU MAHAPATUNA Voices Editor Bananas used to make me gag. When I was a child, the mere scent of a banana would make me nauseous. It was the unfortunate consequence of having caring parents; my father was convinced that eating a banana a day would be enough to keep an army of doctors at bay. So, every day for around ten years my breakfast meals were completed with a forced mouthful of banana (get your mind out of the gutter). Eventually, I rebelled, declared bananas “unlawful”, and refused to touch another until I could do so of my own free will. This fateful moment of uncoerced action arrived at the ripe old age of fifteen when a classmate presented a convincing argument: “Everyone has it. Just try it. It’s natural, delicious, full of protein… [insert any other banana-related propaganda].” He was one of many innocent civilians affected by a phenomenon that I’ve since dubbed “banana mania”. The pandemic that is banana mania has long plagued our households. Side effects include too many overripe bananas in your fruit bowl
While I can’t bring myself to fact-check my kin, I know that he is not alone in wanting more bananas than the average household can consume. Buying illogical amounts of bananas is a common occurrence; a reality made apparent by the sheer quantity of banana bread produced while we were all sequestered within our homes. I turn to social media as evidence of this phenomenon; many internet users could be seen complaining about three or four blackened bananas in one post, before subsequently boasting a loaf of banana bread a few hours later. Now, why banana bread? Why not banana cream pie, or any other banana-flavoured m o n s t r o s i t y ? The answer is simple, even simpler than the humble banana. Banana bread is as versatile as it is easy to make. The bread can be as moist or dry, as savoury or sweet as the baker designs it to be. It maintains the ambiguous air of health associated with the banana, while granting enough leeway to abandon the actual banana flavour almost entirely. The flavour becomes a variable, aided with an infinite variety of potential add-ins (chocolate chips for the sugar addicts, and carrot shavings for the psychopaths). The versatility of the flavour and texture has no impact on the level of difficulty associated with the recipe. Traditional recipes are as simple as ten minutes of effort mixing ingredients together, then approximately an hour of bake-time. Even if one was unable to perform such a task during their regular schedules,
the socially-distanced versions (with more time at home and/or easy, quick access to the kitchen) facilitate the creation of banana bread. Within weeks of being subjected to the chaos of our own abodes, social media feeds were flooded with loaves of banana bread, some a pallid grey shining with grease (or sweat, one may never know), others a shade of luxurious dark gold, marbled with chocolate and sprinkled with what I can only presume to be fairy dust. One google search and you, dear reader, will behold at least 315 million results for banana bread. On Instagram, you need only search #bananabread to find almost two million home-cooks boasting their culinary prowess in thick slices or whole loaves. It is a testament to the capability of man to take a fruit, overindulge in it, and then turn the creamy, overripe pulp into the bare semblance of nutrition. Alas, even I cannot plead innocent to succumbing to the seductive pull of making banana bread, after having made the burnished loaf of cinnamon-sugar-crusted ecstasy that is French patissier Dominique Ansel’s banana bread. Try it out, and thank me later. In the early days of the rise of banana bread, I scoffed at the sheer quantity of banana bread infiltrating my timeline. Now I bask in the glory of baking, of people covered in flour and sugar risking their dignity to produce the sweetest loaf of not really bread. This year, we became a global community through our taste buds, spreading warmth from our ovens to overheating laptops. In the end, the last resort became a favourite recipe, turning something almost rotten, into something almost perfect. p p
CREATIVE WRITING 17 17
To Fall Whether it is in summer’s glorious plunge into cold weather, in the ocean’s crashing waves, in the cause of a scraped knee, or simply in rain, the world is constantly falling around us. Now as the seasons wane towards the stillness of winter, falling nature screams in color. These following poems scream in much the same way; they brim with activity, noise, and an abundance of quaking emotion. Peace and love,
MAYAN GODMAIRE Creative Writing Editor
Try Not to Let Go (After Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf) CARSON LAFRAMBOISE Contributor A broken body and soul Tormented by onlookers Who she could not see Beyond the waves surrounding her. The sand bites through her soles, The rain punctures her shoulders, She has only just begun to live for years, But cannot stop, yet. She longed to change positions with Anyone. The opportunity was never there But it always mocked her for hoping. Why persevere? Why not? A challenge is a challenge, There will always be a prize, Should there be no trophy, just take the Condescending remarks and tell the naysayers to “shove it”. But how can this feeling be replicated when the Challengers avoid you? Their fear of losing is complemented by Their ability to not risk anything Leaves her with no choice but to not surrender Until the day she can win. The waves are higher, now. The faces are gone, not Her enemies, but her friends. She has to continue to see them again Or her foes will confront her if she lets herself go. She must try, but it is becoming difficult. “Never surrender” is whispered in the dirt, Though that makes things more difficult. She must go on, but the waves are swallowing her And she isn’t conscious of what to do.
18 THE PLANT
In Praise of a Shipwreck KIM CHARTRAND Contributor When one’s life is always waves crashing Sharks in the water circling a mangled body Fallen overboard by the bay, splain across driftwood Close to safety but never quite there. One lives for the calm. For the moment in between Moments. I live for the days where nothing is expected of me Where I don’t do anything and I don’t have to do anything. I don’t have to be stressed about sharks Or the undercurrent or waves that keep me pinned to the tattered planks I can examine a compass without needing to follow I can count the clouds hanging above, speckling the sky Mind-numbing bliss. Not happiness, per se, but bliss, calm. And I know as the clock tower in town strikes 12 and the day resets, That I will have to worry again. That another riptide is going to heave me back under, Batter me against the rocks beneath the waves Until I give in to the pull Of the seaweed and the eels Their tendrils holding me stagnant, weightless Let the water fill my lungs, let my lungs hold still Let the steady inhale exhale of ocean stop But until then, until the sharks leer at me, hungry, Until my flesh and bones thrash ungracefully towards the shore I let the ocean carry me, on my patch of rotting debris I exist Not for anything extremely good, But simply for the sake of existing If only for one day, Or one hour, or one second, I breathe. I breathe in the salty air as my head barely bobs above the current. I see the sunset on the horizon, the way the sand of the beach glistens Almost like a billion tiny stars The ocean doesn’t seem so overwhelming And the jellyfish caress my wounds instead of stinging them And this is enough to keep me going towards that shoreline For however long I can.
Summer Peaches DYLAN FORD Contributor The door sticks in the dog-dead days of summer as does the skin of the kids who dance in acid-drenched wife beaters. Bonded by the sour sweat beads laced around their necks they feel each other feeling everything and yet, nothing at all. Brimming with bad habits of which they deny in this madness their richness richer than summer peaches.
CREATIVE WRITING 19
“Humanity’s hourglass FLORA BARUEL VIANNA Contributor The world has been ending for thousands of years. After countless lifetimes of chaos and havoc, Terra must have gotten used to it, and we are to blame. Round and round again we go, stuck somewhere between a friend and a foe, like children, we have no conscience of what we're doing. Who are we really harming? Animals kill for one reason and one alone; survival. I guess if we trace back our steps it might have started out that way but what the hell happened along the road? How did we get all the way over here? Massacres! shootings! bombings! We have done unspeakable things to our own kind: The Holocaust, Slavery, Residential schools, Human trafficking, Military dictatorships, Terrorism, Roman-Catholic child abuse, Salem "witch" trials must I go on? And all for what, nobody is hurting us other than our own shallow and miserable selves. The Planet is the one getting caught in this crossfire of extinction, Earth was doing just fine without us and it will do much better after we leave. I guess we were supposed to be higher beings, evolved minds. Maybe we are, maybe we were the mistake before correction, prototype #1, the "experiment gone wrong". One thing is certain, the apocalypse will not be a biblical event: slowly but surely, we will be the horsemen bringing Plague, Famine, War and Death. Mother Earth is simply getting back at us. Hundreds of thousands of years of being secondary passengers on Her land, we have been nothing short of ungrateful and selfish towards Her, especially with the turn of industrial millenia. We have been killing our home since we first knew how. Some of us spend our entire lives devoted to doing anything we can to repair the damages done by our predecessors, while others couldn't care less, while others don't believe there is a problem, while others lose hope and just try to live one life at a time, It takes a second to break something but it might take a lifetime to fix it. If you stop to think what can you do about all the destruction, the answer is: anything. Anything to right a wrong. Anything to right a wrong. The world needs healers there have been enough killers why not do what we can to help patch another’s wounds? Our humanity is slipping away, reach out and grasp it with all the care. Nurture it to life as if it could save the world…
Illustrations by MAYAN GODMAIRE Creative Writing Editor
20 THE PLANT
The Final Hurdle: Making Gym Classes More Inclusive DONTÉ KYDD-RICHMOND Sports Editor
teachers), while having their skills and potential constantly doubted?
Phys Ed can be the highlight of your day, or an easy alternative to more typical classes. But for some students, gym class can be more stressful than any math or history class. Often these students find such hardship in their gym classes for quite simple reasons; they are women, or LGBTQ+, or they struggle with difficult mental or physical conditions. And often, Phys Ed courses and their professors lack the sensitivity and empathy to improve the class for them.
Gym classes can also be dismissive of the plights faced by the LGBTQ+ community, especially transgender and non-binary people. Navigating everyday life is already difficult enough for many non-binary folks without these hardships extending into their gym classes. The setting tends to amplify the nagging dissatisfaction of gender dysphoria, particularly when students are forced to collaborate with people who are uncomfortable with gender fluidity.
Phys Ed courses are not free from the sexism embedded in our society. From the objectification and sexualization of women, to the dismissal of women’s skill and ability in sport, it is clear why for many women, Phys Ed can be at best uninteresting and at worst dreadful. Many gym classes require constant, active participation in order to receive a good grade. But how can you expect girls to feel motivated to participate when they are ogled by their peers (and often even their own
Sensitivity, empathy and a willingness to listen go a long way.
Photo VIA DAWSON COLLEGE BLUES
Mental and physical disabilities can make typical everyday tasks extremely difficult. Often, this difficulty is misunderstood, underestimated and invalidated by the rest of the world. Phys Ed classes are no exception; often those who suffer from disabilities are met with no empathy or compassion
from either peers or professors, and are forced into activities that can be uncomfortable or downright grueling. While the matter at hand is tricky and there is no definitive way to treat it, sensitivity, empathy and a willingness to listen go a long way. Phys Ed courses, as well as any other class, program or activity, should always make it a point to encourage complete freedom of expression, and to actively listen to and learn from minority groups. To simply “tolerate” their presence, without taking the necessary steps to properly welcome and accept them as people, is not enough; we must foster open mindedness in not only these programs, but in our society as a whole. On a smaller level, we all can do our part as individuals by listening, speaking up, and making conscious decisions to be allies. p p
SCIENCE & ENVIRONMENT 21
Sleep Deprivation: An Epidemic No One’s Talking About ARWEN LOW Contributor I’m a bit self-conscious about sharing my sleep schedule with you. Some nights I’m so exhausted that I collapse at 6 pm, miss dinner, and wake at 11, disoriented and strangely nihilistic. Others, I whittle away my time, flipping between TikTok compilations and the essay I have due in two days; when I rise to brush my teeth at 3 am, a sleep-deprived Gollum greets me in the mirror. I wanted to see if I was alone in this, so I set up a sleep lab with 11 Dawson students to track their sleep schedules for a week and as it turns out, I’m not. 85 nights of data from the 11 participants were collected. On average, people reported getting 6.4 hours of sleep, well below the Canadian Paediatric Society’s recommended 8-10 hours for teenagers. This was for a variety of reasons, watching video content late at night being the most common. However, the one that worries me most is that 24.7% of students had done school work right before going to bed each week. The average time those students went to sleep at? 1:56 a.m. As Jenny Odell discusses in her 2019 book How to Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy, the framing idea behind the global workers’ rights movement of the early 20th century: “8 hours for work, 8 hours for rest, 8 hours for what we will”, simply isn’t upheld anymore. We can see this in midnight deadlines given by professors, which are themselves assumptions that our work days extend till then. The freedom devices grant us blurs the lines between our waking and sleeping hours. Notions of productivity that students learn are detrimental to our sleep and to our short and long term health. The phrase “sleep is for the
weak” is usually tossed around jokingly, but I see it as indicative of a larger issue: we are taught that strength lies in maximizing our productivity. Because our time is seen as a commodity, we prioritize work over sleep. A 2016 study conducted by the Canadian Sleep Society showed me that my poor sleep schedule was more common than I thought: 26% of adolescents aged 14-17 got less than the recommended 8 hours of sleep a night. Compare this with the results from the 2017 census on sleep by Statistics Canada where 1/3 of Canadians reported not getting enough sleep, and we have on our hands a public health crisis. What’s stopping us from sleeping well? Poor diet, lack of physical exercise, too much screen time and insufficient exposure to natural light can be especially prevalent during a pandemic. Other factors which impact our natural circadian rhythm, or sleepwake cycle, are depression, heightened stress, or pre-existing health conditions. It seems like we just can’t catch a break; worsening what’s been considered a global sleep epidemic since 2011 is the current COVID-19 pandemic. COVID-19 has disrupted our daily lives, making it harder to keep a consistent schedule, get physical exercise, maintain a healthy diet and even go outside to get natural light.
Our sleep was bad, and COVID-19 is making it worse. The current order to self-isolate and stay home is heightening feelings of isolation and depression. Fears about the long-term effects of COVID-19 on our health and the health of our loved ones, our job security, as well as the difficulties we’re facing adapting to online learning are contributing to feelings of stress and anxiety. Because we’re spending more
time on our screens for school and connecting with friends, we’re exposing ourselves to blue light later on at night. Essentially, our sleep was bad, and COVID-19 is making it worse. Yet getting a good night’s sleep is more important than ever. Sleep affects our mood, our judgement, our ability to learn and retain information, and even our ability to cope with stress and depression. What’s more, sleep deprivation weakens our immune system, which is so crucial to our ability to recover from illnesses like the coronavirus. According to the United Kingdom National Health Service, long-term sleep deprivation makes us more vulnerable to heart attacks, strokes, diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, mood disorders like depression and anxiety, and infertility. After a week of tracking the 11 students’ sleep, I gave them a few tips for establishing healthy sleep schedules based on recommendations from Harvard Health: turn off your screen an hour before bed, get sunlight and physical exercise, eat healthily, and only use your bed for sleep. I know from experience that this is easier said than done, but that doesn't minimize the importance of making an effort. We need to start valuing sleep as integral to our well-being, and not something that can be cut back on to make room for work or play. And to my fellow insomniac workaholics out there, remember that you’re worth more than what you can accomplish in a given day. p p
22 THE PLANT
SCIENCE & ENVIRONMENT 22
Hot and Dangerous – Climate Justice and You JOHN NATHANIEL GERTLER Contributor These days, turning on your phone and opening Facebook or Instagram can be scary. Over the past few months, many of us have gained awareness of a host of issues -- blatant racism, brutality, and corruption within police forces and governments, the loss of two thirds of the world’s wildlife in the past 50 years, the forcible construction of pipelines on stolen Indigenous land, wildfires engulfing the west coast of our continent, to name only a few such events -- all during a global pandemic. We can look at these conflicts and allow them to paralyze us, or choose to see them as a catalyst for action. I’m hoping we choose the latter. Despite the overwhelming current events, our education does not reflect the urgency of these realities at all. When I log into Zoom for class, it’s to learn about supply and demand curves, Nietzsche’s theory of consciousness, or what I should pack in my bag for a day hike. What’s the point of learning what to pack for a hike when the forests are burning? During a time when we want to create change, having our noses in textbooks feels disconnected and distant from what’s going on around the globe. It feels wrong.
If there was ever a time to use your privilege, your voice, and whatever skills you might have, it’s now. For many of us, this is not the first time that we have had the desire to act, either. It’s been over a year now since half a million of us marched through Montreal, demanding that people in positions of power listen to science and act on the climate crisis. Since then, very little has changed. Decision makers heard the millions
Photo VIA LIBERATIONSCHOOL.ORG
around the world, but systematically ignored us to continue deepening their pockets. But those decision makers are the ones that need to hear us if we want a fighting chance. Did you know that one hundred of the biggest companies in the world account for more that 70% of global greenhouse gas emissions? It’s up to us to pressure these corporations and the governments that oversee their activities. The solutions are there, the money is there. What’s missing is the will. The coronavirus pandemic has shown us what large-scale, rapid action can look like when will and urgency are present. We need that same large-scale action in addressing the climate crisis. Just because one big day of protest was ignored does not mean that we should surrender. Historically, every great social victory resulted from years and years of struggle. Last September’s protest was one step in our fight for climate justice. We must build from that momentum, like past social movements did. Women didn’t gain the right to vote after one protest, and civil rights for African Americans didn’t just appear after one march led by MLK. Change isn’t easy or comfortable -- oftentimes not even very popular -- but it couldn’t be any more important.
It’s crystal clear that the climate crisis is not just an issue for future generations. The climate crisis is very much here, and already impacting the hardest those who contributed to it the least. However, it will not do any good if we react to this emergency with helplessness and inaction. So, what can you do about it? Well, if there was ever a time to use your privilege, your voice, and whatever skills you might have, it’s now. If you have ever considered getting more involved, now is the time to do it. Find a local group at school, at work, or in your community, and ask an activist friend where to start and how to support, organize, and educate. Our focus cannot be on less plastic straws, recycling, thrifting clothes, biking, or meat consumption. Yes, they are important, but what we need right now is to push for urgent climate action that addresses those issues on a systematic level -- not one that blames the individual. This means climate action that amplifies BIPOC voices, that fights for Indigenous sovereignty, and that acknowledges that it’s the marginalized communities being hit hardest. There are simply too few of us pushing for change. We need every one of you. Now is the time to raise your voice and get your hands dirty. p p
HOROSCOPES Welcome to Libra season! The sun is shining, the leaves are changing colours, and you’re feeling fully rested after a week off from school (or at least I hope you are). Although we can’t have the Halloween we imagined for 2020, here’s hoping you all still find ways to stay positive this month! BIRTHDAY: If you were born October 22nd, happy happy happy birthday! Also, if you were born April 23rd, happy happy happy half birthday! ARIES (mar. 20-apr. 18): Aries, you have been so critical of yourself recently. This month, go with the flow! You cannot control everything. TAURUS (apr. 19- may 20): This month, check up on your friends or that special someone you’ve been missing. It is amazing how a little catching up can make you feel so much better! GEMINI (may 21-june 20): You’ve been working hard on your goals this month and it shows! While things might not always go as planned, trust that you are exactly where you are meant to be.
CANCER (june 21- july 22): Are things getting a little overwhelming this month, Cancers? Take some time to do a bit of self care, even if that means a simple 30 minute nap. Relaxation will help you find peace amongst chaos!
SAGITTARIUS (nov. 22-dec. 21) : This month, avoid unnecessary negativity. Even though it may seem hard, look on the bright side of every situation. You do not find the path to a happy life, you make it.
LEO (july 23- aug. 22): Changes may be taking place this month, Leos. It is important to take things one step at a time. That might help you feel more in control!
CAPRICORN (dec.22-jan. 19): Try not to take life too seriously this month, Capricorns. Spend time talking to your favourite people and do what makes you happy. Live a life that will make old-you proud.
VIRGO (aug. 23-sept. 22): Virgos, don’t settle for less just because it is available. Take the extra step that will help your wildest dreams become reality. If anyone can do it, it's you.
AQUARIUS (jan. 20-feb. 18): Aquarians, it is important to step away from the screens and get some fresh air. Give yourself a break every once in a while. You deserve it
LIBRA (sept.23-oct. 22): This month, Libras, you are unstoppable. Try helping a friend or family member feel the same way! Happiness is best when it's shared.
PISCES (feb. 19-mar. 19) : While it may be tempting to simply ignore a problem and hope that it will go away, that will not always work. For your own sake, this month, do not give up until your problems have been resolved.
SCORPIO (oct. 23-nov. 21): Scorpios, don’t worry about the things that are not worth the struggle. Instead of stressing, focus on what makes you happy and life will fall into place.
ADELA PIRILLO Curiosities Editor
24 THE PLANT
HALLOWEEN CREAM CHEESE BROWNIE Ingredients: Brownies 1/2 cup of butter (1 stick) 6 ounces of chocolate, chopped 2 eggs 3/4 cup of sugar 1 tablespoon of pure vanilla extract 3/4 cup all-purpose flour 1/2 teaspoon salt Cream Cheese Topping 8 ounces brick-style cream cheese, softened 1 egg 1/4 cup sugar Food colouring, preferably orange 12 chopped Oreos 1/2 cup of chocolate chips Photo VIA ADELA PIRILLO
Instructions: Brownies Preheat the oven to 350F. Line an 8-inch square pan (or whatever you have) with parchment paper. A tip to make it stick is to spread a bit of butter first, and then add the parchment. In a large bowl, add the butter and chocolate. Melt the two ingredients together. Allow the mixture to cool before adding the eggs. Don’t make the mistake we made and use a random chocolate bar… that’s not how it works. Baker’s brand is usually good! Mix the eggs, sugar, and vanilla into the chocolate mixture. Have a party! Add the flour and salt, and stir until smooth. Fill the pan with the brownie batter and set aside. Cream Cheese Topping In a medium bowl, add the cream cheese, egg, and sugar. Mix until smooth. (Dance party while it mixes!) Add the orange coloring and mix. You can make it as vibrant or pale as you’d like! Pour mixture into the brownie layer. At this point, if you wanna make a fancy design, go off. We did a cool swirly design on top, which can be accomplished by using the back of your spoon to mix the cream cheese and brownie mix together in vertical and horizontal motions. Evenly sprinkle the crushed Oreos and chocolate chips onto the brownies. Bake for about 45 minutes, or until brownies are done. A tell-tale sign that they’re done is when a toothpick comes out MOSTLY clean. If it is completely clean, they might be slightly overdone, since they keep baking after you take them out of the oven. Cover the brownies with foil and refrigerate for at least 3 to 4 hours before slicing and serving. The cream cheese needs to be chilled and set before slicing. Enjoy! Presented by ADELA PIRILLO & JULIE JACQUES Curiosities Editor & Managing Editor
Daylen Conserve Editor-in-Chief
Tomas Oyarzun Cover Artist
Benjamin Wexler Copy Editor
Alessandro Mortellaro Staff Writer
Julie Jacques Managing Editor
Maija Baroni Staff Writer
Pipa Jones Graphic Designer
Julia Quynh Staff Writer
Kerri-Lee Commier Kyra Clark Alexandre Beauchemin Emma Mooney Sophia Dolgin Mia Kennedy Kim Chartrand Carson Laframboise Dylan Ford Flora Baruel Vienna John Nathaniel Gertler Arwen Low
Jessica Gearey News Editor Beatriz Neves Arts & Culture Editor Frédéric Guillette Visual Arts Editor Laura Gervais Sciences Editor Donté Kydd-Richmond Sports Editor Mayan Godmaire Creative Writing Editor Dinu Mahapatuna Voices Editor Adela Pirillo Curiosities Editor
CONTACT The Plant Newspaper Dawson College 3040 Rue Sherbrooke O Montréal, QC H3Z 1A4 2C.15 theplantnews.com firstname.lastname@example.org @theplantnews
The Plant newspaper October issue